A repaired SplashDown to reopen March 17

SplashDown, the Columbia water park, will reopen March 17 after being closed for several months due to safety concerns, according to Columbia Association officials.

The facility will be open with normal operating hours and admission prices (for non-members) on Saturday and Sunday. And on March 24, a free reopening party will be held from 1 to 6 p.m.

SplashDown's two flumes last operated at the Columbia Swim Center in May 2011 and had been scheduled to reopen Sept. 17. But an August safety inspection at the Wilde Lake facility revealed significant structural issues in the stair tower.

The steel beams that support the tower and have rusted at their bases needed to be repaired, as did the steel pans that hold the concrete stairs, according to an inspector's report.

Repair work began earlier this year. The project's cost, including engineering work, was about $100,000, according to Rob Goldman, CA's chief operating officer. The project had been budgeted at $120,000, of which $30,000 came from funds that had been set aside for remedial repairs at the swim center.

SplashDown does not make a profit and did not lose money due to it being closed, according to CA officials.

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